Jan 19, 2024 | Bed Bug
Bed bugs are the unwelcome guests that can ruin your sleep and take over your home. These tiny, apple seed shaped insects can easily infest your home without warning by hitchhiking via your luggage or other personal belongings. To help you prevent bed bugs, let’s go over the common signs of bed bugs and how to effectively manage them as pests.
Common Signs of Bed Bugs
- Unexplained Bites: One of the most common signs of a bed bug infestation is waking up with itchy, red welts on your skin. These bites often appear in clusters and are usually found on exposed areas such as arms, legs, neck, and face. Not everyone reacts the same way to bed bug bites, so an absence of bites doesn’t always mean an absence of bed bugs.
- Bloodstains on Bedding: As bed bugs feed on your blood, they can leave behind reddish-brown stains on your sheets and pillowcases. This is typically a result of crushed bed bugs or blood-filled fecal matter.
- Musty Odor: Bed bugs release a distinctive, sweet, and musty odor that can be unpleasant to most. If you notice this scent in your bedroom or other areas of your home, it can be a clear sign of infestation.
- Live Bed Bugs: The most obvious of the signs for having bed bugs is finding live bugs. Adult bed bugs are the size of an apple seed, reddish-brown, and oval shaped. Nymphs are smaller and lighter in color.
Effective Strategies to Rid Your Home of Bed Bugs
- Maintenance: The first step in managing a bed bug infestation is to declutter and thoroughly clean the affected areas. Vacuum your mattress, box spring, and any nearby furniture with a brush attachment to dislodge any bed bugs or eggs. Be sure to discard all vacuum debris outside of your home!
- Isolation: Once you discover the area that is affected, isolate whatever piece of furniture or room to prevent further infestation.
- Professional Pest Control: While some DIY methods can be beneficial, bed bugs are notorious for being a challenging pest to rid your home from. Bed bug control professionals can pinpoint the affected area and get your home back to a pest-free environment! Call your local pest control company for a free quote!
Traveling for the holidays, staying at hotels, and visiting family are all opportunities for bed bugs to hitchhike through your luggage and make their way into your home! These invasive pests will go undetected for long periods, reproducing quickly, and causing a full-blown infestation. One of the best ways to avoid bed bugs inside your home is to prevent them in the first place.
Bed Bug Prevention Tips
Prevent Bed Bugs While Traveling
While packing for your trip, consider utilizing plastic bags to pack your clothes, shoes, and other personal items to help prevent bed bugs that climb into your suitcase. Before booking your hotel room, look up the bed bug registry. Once you get to your hotel room or Airbnb, inspect the room for signs of bed bugs, including small, dark spots, bloodstains, or bed bug skins. Try to avoid placing your luggage on the bed or floor, instead, place it on tile floors, in a closet, even in showers or tubs, and keep it away from the walls and any wooden furniture.
Prevent Bed Bugs at Home
Once you return home from a trip, unpack your items outside instead of inside your home. Look to unpack your clothes and personal items outside, and wash them immediately through a high-heat dryer cycle as bed bugs cannot withstand high temperatures. If you’ve recently purchased secondhand furniture, groceries, or have a delivery, make sure to always inspect them before bringing them inside.
Bed Bug Treatments
If you’ve seen bed bug signs or a live bed bug, it’s important to act fast to eliminate them from your home. There are several do-it-yourself bed bug methods that you can utilize but having a professional provide you with an inspection and a bed bug treatment plan is usually best. These licensed professionals will give your home in in-depth inspection and a customized bed bug control plan, either a chemical or heat treatment, based on your pest situation. If you suspect a bed bug infestation, contact your Florida pest control company for more information.
The holidays are quickly approaching, so we can all expect to see even more travel occur throughout the United States. While traveling can be stressful, it’s nothing compared to returning home and discovering you’ve brought bed bugs with you! We breakdown how you can eliminate the potential for bed bugs while traveling.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs While Traveling:
- Inspect your hotel or Airbnb room carefully before unpacking. Look for signs of bed bugs under your mattress and behind the headboard. Common signs include:
- Small, dark spots
- Blood stains
- Don’t put luggage on the bed or on the floor. Utilize a luggage rack or fully unpack and hang up your clothes if a closet is provided.
- When returning home, unpack and wash your clothing right away. The heat from the dryer will help eliminate any hitchhiking bed bugs.
- After returning, inspect your home for any signs of potential bed bugs.
Where Are Bed Bugs Found?
Bed bugs are found in many locations, including Airbnb’s, hotels, public transportation, public places, and even friends or family homes. It’s best to be mindful of where you place your belongings while traveling.
Bed bugs are tiny, invasive pests that can easily hitchhike a ride with you after traveling and infest your home. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of once they’ve made themselves at home in your furniture, bedding, and even carpet. To avoid the headache and expense of a bed bug infestation, consider following these tips to prevent them after you’ve come home from traveling.
Inspect Your Luggage and Clothes
Upon your hotel arrival, consider inspecting your hotel for bed bugs and checking the bed bug registry before booking a room. After your stay, when packing up and leaving your hotel room, do a thorough inspection of all your items, including luggage, bags, and clothing you’ve traveled with. Check for any signs of bed bugs, such as live bugs, shed skins, and brown stains on the mattress or bedding. Pay close attention to the seams of your luggage, as bed bugs often hide in small crevices. If you find any evidence of bugs, throw out your luggage and purchase a new one or seal it in a plastic bag until you can properly treat it.
Wash Your Clothes and Bedding
As soon as you get home from your trip, inspect and unpack your clothes outside instead of inside your home. After unpacking, wash all your clothes and bedding in hot water as soon as possible. Bed bugs cannot survive in temperatures above 120°F, so washing and drying your items in the hottest setting is one of the best ways to kill any hitchhiking bugs. If you cannot wash an item in hot water, seal it in a plastic bag and place it in the freezer for a few days to kill any bugs that could be hiding inside.
Inspect Your Home
After unpacking and washing your clothes, it’s still important to inspect your home after a trip. Inspect the areas where you often store your luggage and clothing, such as closets, dressers, and bedside tables. Check for any signs of bed bugs.
Even if you take these precautions, bed bugs can still find their way into your home. Be vigilant and watch for any signs of bed bugs, such as bites on your skin, live bugs, or small bloodstains on your bedding. If you suspect that you have a bed bug infestation, it’s best to call your local pest control company for help. These bed bug experts will be able to provide you with a thorough inspection and a treatment and prevention plan.